Writing a BlogHer post after attending the conference for the first time is like trying to write your college application essay. You have no idea where to start and how to get your thoughts accurately on the page. So I’ll just start like this… it all began with a woman farting on a plane.
Yes, you read that correctly. For my first trip completely away from my children in years I was stuck next to a woman on the plane who wouldn’t stop farting. My expectations for the trip quickly sank and I wondered if all things moving forward would turn out to be a disappointment. Good to report – they weren’t. Far from it.
To keep the comparison to college going, BlogHer is like the very first day of college. Everyone is freakishly giddy, nervous and trying not to look like the dork we all know we truly are. In addition to that, there is chaos, running around and no one ever knowing where they are going.
And like college, you sit in workshops where the moderators are talking about things that you can only dream to understand. Things like SEO, or Google +. And you feverishly take notes while attempting to understand the lingo. But it’s ok if you don’t because, just like college, they’ll be a party that night where you can commiserate on being clueless with others just like you.
But in a few hours, you figure out where the cafeteria is and you figure out that SEO is actually something you are already doing and that Google + isn’t understood by anyone really. And you realize that you aren’t alone in the scary world of blogging.
And just like college, you go to those parties at night with a few people you have only known for two hours and by the end of the night, you have your arms around each other wondering where they have been all your life. And you realize that you’re going to be ok.
Then, the next day, you repeat. But this time you have more confidence, more knowledge and you have your people. It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone save you a seat at the lunch table, isn’t it?
As for the logistics of BlogHer – from the speakers to the classes – they were all awesome. I laughed with The Pioneer Woman’s Lee Drummond, and I felt inspired when I heard Sheryl Sandberg talk about the Lean In movement. And I have an amazing story about Guy Kawasaki that is just a blog post in itself that I will soon share. However, the thing that I took the most away from the experience was exactly what I took away from college – the people.
And that made sitting next to the farting woman on the plane all worth it.